The Differences Between Data and Information: a Short Analysis

Topics: Data, Meaning of life, Personal computer game Pages: 7 (1625 words) Published: April 28, 2011
The differences between data and information: a short analysis

What is data?

I have researched on the Internet and in books for the meaning and description of data and there are a variety of meanings and some are very misleading the best two meanings I found were “data consists of random (or a set of random) unprocessed facts with little or no intrinsic value”(S. Yull, T. Stump p-6) and “Data: the raw facts and figures a computer accepts as input and then processes to produce useful information” (P. M. Heathcote, S. Langfield p-16).

Data Is used in every day life by everyone, it is all around us data has to be processed into information to be understood otherwise it has no meaning so without data there is no information data is plural for datum which means 1 piece of data. data comes from the latin word datum, it is both plural and singular. data is made up of raw facts such as text, characters, symbols, numbers, figures, images, sound, video etcetera.

Sources of data

Direct data

“Direct data is completed for a specific purpose and by an automatic process” (S. Yull, T. Stump p-8 - p-9 )direct data is when you collect data for a specific purpose, for example a supermarket reads bar codes on their products for information on a specific product to see where the product is situated, what the product is, how much the product costs etcetera this is a form of direct and specific data it only serves for one purpose. direct data is collected by a automatic process for example in a supermarket they use a bar code reader which is specifically designed to read bar codes. Direct data is also known as primary data

Indirect data

“Indirect data is where data has already been gathered for another purpose” (S. Yull, T. Stump p-8 - p9 ). An example of indirect data is when a supermarket originally reads a bar code on their product for direct data such as how much the product costs but the indirectly collects other data such as how well the product is selling or how much of that product is left such data can later be used for comparisons with other products and supermarkets and for stock control. Indirect data is also known as secondary data.

Qualitative research/information data and Quantitative/information/research data

Qualitative data – “Which are data not in the form of numbers (most of the times, but not always, this means there are in the form of words)”.(Keith.F.Punch 2006 p-3)

An example of qualitative research/information/data could be baser upon how Personal Computer game players feel when they play, what there attitudes are, what keeps them motivated. Qualitative data is more about collecting and analyzing the information gathered it gives more in depth data and research.

Quantitative data – “Which are data in the form of numbers.”(Keith.F.Punch 2006 p3)

Quantitative research/information/data is mathematical based and can reveal statistical information such as the statistical significance, findings or differences. An example of quantitative data is a addicted user of Personal Computer games plays between 4-8 hours a day and is between the ages of 18-30.

Data process

“Data processing converts data into information” (S. Yull, T. Stump p-10)

For data to become information it has to go through a process called data processing the method used is known as input-process-output (IPO).

Input-process-output (IPO)

These are the basic functions of a computer. Data must be input into the computer, which is then processed and then it is output by being displayed or printed.

There are three steps in IPO.


The first step: input is gathering and capturing raw data to be input in to the system.


The second step: which is to input the data in to the system to be processed. Processing involves the following;

Making calculations
Using alternative actions and routes
Making comparisons
Sorting data for future use


The third and final step: after the...

References: AS Level Computing, By P M Heathcote, S. Langfield, Edition: 5, illustrated,
Published by Payne Gallway, 2004
AS Level ICT for AQA, By Sharon Yull, Tracey Stump, Edition: illustrated,
Published by Heinemann, 2003
Developing Effective Research Proposals, By Keith Punch, Edition: 2, illustrated,
Published by SAGE, 2006
A Level ICT for AQA, By Jackie Rogers, Pearson Education,
Published by Pearson Education Ltd, 2008
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